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SubjectRe: Kernel interface changes (was Re: cdrecord problems on
David Weinehall <> writes:

> How come, that if IBM doesn't make a penny from AFS, they don't release
> the source, so that we can include it in the kernel?!!?!

You misunderstand. IBM currently does not make a penny from _Linux AFS_.
They make rather a lot from AFS in general, which is why I highly
doubt they'll ever release the source to it.

They don't make any money from Linux AFS because they didn't write the
port; they don't sell it. If you have AFS licensed, as CMU, MIT, and
most likely many other places do, you can use it. They won't support
it, and it'll tend to lag behind the official AFS on other platforms,
but it's better than not being able to get to your files.

This will likely change, though. Transarc is apparently working on an
officially-supported client. Maybe they'll have the time to track
kernel interface changes. I hope they will; I hate not being able to
upgrade to a new kernel because I'd lose my files.

And yes, I understand that having source is better than not having
source. I think everyone here does. But what a lot of people seem
unable to grasp is that "no support" really isn't better than
"binary-only support".

Frankly, I'd rather be able to access my files _now_ with a binary
module than have to wait for Arla to mature. I'd rather pay $20 to
have my fancy new soundcard work than wait months for someone to write
a free driver. I like OSS just fine, but I don't run Linux on my
machines to get into a state of free software religious purity. I run
it so I can get some work done.

I'm sure someone out there is thinking "well, he should obviously work
on porting the features he wants". If I could, I would. But, sadly, I
have research work that comes first. If I had enough spare time, maybe
I'd help with fixing more of the problems I see, but I don't. And even
if I could, I couldn't help with everything -- for example, I'm pretty
sure I legally cannot help write Arla due to NDAs my lab holds on the
AFS source.

Making life difficult for binary modules is great if what you really
want is to have a pure, all-open-source hobbyist environment.
Unfortunately, not everyone who uses Linux these days is a hobbyist or
even wants to be. Some of us chose it because it's a better system
that we can use for our work. If I can contribute something to the
community through porting our NASD research code to Linux, that'd be
great. But it's not my primary goal. If that makes me a bad citizen in
the Linux world, so be it. As the MIT folks have said repeatedly,
there are several other high-quality free Unixes out there.

Is driving away users who aren't pure enough really what you want to


nat lanza --------------------- research programmer, parallel data lab, cmu scs --------------------------------
there are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths -- alfred north whitehead

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